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Our Heritage Trees

Arlington is home to a number of trees large enough to be designated as heritage trees. A heritage tree, as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), is a tree that:

  • Measures more than 32 inches in diameter at breast height (DBH) or 100.45 inches in circumference
  • Has a documented cultural and/or historical significance.

The Arlington Tree Committee hopes you can help us locate the town’s heritage  trees so that we can celebrate them, seek DCR funding for care of those trees on public lands, and try to match them to trees in town photo archives.

To measure a tree’s circumference, you’ll need a long tape measure and a piece of chalk, a crayon, or some other nontoxic marker. An assistant will be helpful for very large trees.

  • Mark three or four equally spaced points on the tree’s trunk at 4.5 feet from the ground. Be sure to designate the point where you want to begin and end the measurement.
  • Run the tape measure around the tree at the marked points, beginning and ending at the same point.

If the tree’s circumference measures at least 100.45 inches around, email its location and measurement to ArlTreeCmte@gmail.com. If possible, include an image of the tree.

Interested in figuring out a tree’s height and crown spread? Check out the American Forests Measuring Guidelines Handbook.

Heritage Trees in Historic Photographs

London Plane Tree on Mill Street


1898; photo courtesy of Arlington Historical Society

heritage tree 20 Mill St., 1897

1897; photo courtesy of Arlington Historical Society


57 inches DBH in 2015


Other Big Trees in Town






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